Location

Cheatham 212

Event Website

http://www.cpe.vt.edu/cuenr/index.html

Start Date

27-3-2010 8:30 AM

End Date

27-3-2010 9:00 AM

Description

Since its inception in 1935, the SAF accreditation program for forestry education has changed significantly. Initially, accreditation was a rating system of one’s alma mater to determine which graduates had the knowledge to be eligible for SAF membership versus those who needed more on‐ the‐job experience to qualify. Thus from the beginning, the focus of accreditation has been on quality of education. However, what constitutes “forestry education” has always been difficult for SAF to define for accreditation purposes. For example, a July 1935 Journal of Forestry article described “recreational forestry” as a branch of forestry or a separate profession. In the 1980’s, the SAF unease was exacerbated by a proliferation of bachelor’s or master’s degree options and as a result, by 1988 SAF began accrediting only curriculum with degree programs that met a relatively rigid set of SAF standards for an education in forestry. Since then, increasing demands on the profession, as well as on institutions of higher education indicated the need for an unprecedented level of flexibility regarding accreditation. SAF responded by adopting new standards based on outcomes rather than courses and accreditation is being granted to programs leading to an associate’s degree in forest technology. In addition, special standards have been developed for urban forestry and a task force is considering accreditation of nontraditional forestry programs generically being referred to as “terrestrial ecosystem management”. At the 7th UENR Biennial Conference, a number of presentations compared aspects of general natural resources education to SAF accredited forestry programs. The cry went up “...and that’s what’s wrong with accreditation!” without addressing the purpose of forestry education or the success in fulfilling its mission. This presentation will address issues associated with forestry education accreditation from “breaking new ground” at the turn of the 20th Century to “standing our ground” as we march into the 21st.

Comments

Citation: DeWald, L.E., T.W. Clark. 2010. Standing our ground: the meaning of SAF accreditation. UENR Biennial Conference, Session Curricula and Assessment, Paper Number 3. http://digitalcommons.usu.edu/cuenr/Sessions/Cirricula/3/

 
Mar 27th, 8:30 AM Mar 27th, 9:00 AM

Standing Our Ground: The Meaning of SAF Accreditation

Cheatham 212

Since its inception in 1935, the SAF accreditation program for forestry education has changed significantly. Initially, accreditation was a rating system of one’s alma mater to determine which graduates had the knowledge to be eligible for SAF membership versus those who needed more on‐ the‐job experience to qualify. Thus from the beginning, the focus of accreditation has been on quality of education. However, what constitutes “forestry education” has always been difficult for SAF to define for accreditation purposes. For example, a July 1935 Journal of Forestry article described “recreational forestry” as a branch of forestry or a separate profession. In the 1980’s, the SAF unease was exacerbated by a proliferation of bachelor’s or master’s degree options and as a result, by 1988 SAF began accrediting only curriculum with degree programs that met a relatively rigid set of SAF standards for an education in forestry. Since then, increasing demands on the profession, as well as on institutions of higher education indicated the need for an unprecedented level of flexibility regarding accreditation. SAF responded by adopting new standards based on outcomes rather than courses and accreditation is being granted to programs leading to an associate’s degree in forest technology. In addition, special standards have been developed for urban forestry and a task force is considering accreditation of nontraditional forestry programs generically being referred to as “terrestrial ecosystem management”. At the 7th UENR Biennial Conference, a number of presentations compared aspects of general natural resources education to SAF accredited forestry programs. The cry went up “...and that’s what’s wrong with accreditation!” without addressing the purpose of forestry education or the success in fulfilling its mission. This presentation will address issues associated with forestry education accreditation from “breaking new ground” at the turn of the 20th Century to “standing our ground” as we march into the 21st.

http://digitalcommons.usu.edu/cuenr/Sessions/Cirricula/3